Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery receives innovative green building award
A geothermal heating system, solar-powered water heating, and extensive use of natural and LED lighting are among the sustainable features of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. UW–Madison is being recognized for the project with the Innovation in Green Building Award.
Photo: Jeff Miller
The University of Wisconsin–Madison has been chosen for a top sustainability award for the innovative and sustainable design of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery building.
The Innovation in Green Building Award is presented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It recognizes a college or university that is transforming its built environment with an eye toward sustainability and promoting institutional change.
The Discovery building was selected for its unique combination of innovative design and operations, including aspects of funding, research, community engagement, and mission. It is home to three partners: the private, nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research; the university’s Wisconsin Institute for Discovery; and the Town Center, a public space for science that spans the main floor.
“The University of Wisconsin–Madison is trailblazing the type of innovative partnerships the higher education community needs to transform the built environment.”
“We are committed at UW–Madison to increasing our sustainability as a campus and as a community, and we are so pleased that our integrated team effort on sustainability for this project has been so successful. This award is a gratifying recognition of our efforts and progress towards our goals,” says Angela Pakes Ahlman, external relations coordinator of the UW–Madison Office of Sustainability and formerly with UW–Madison Capital Planning and Development.
“The University of Wisconsin–Madison is trailblazing the type of innovative partnerships the higher education community needs to transform the built environment,” says Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools. “We’re proud to give this award to such a deserving school, and thank AASHE for their support in highlighting outstanding sustainability initiatives taking place at colleges and universities across the country.”
UW-Madison was recognized during an awards ceremony at the AASHE 2012 conference in Los Angeles on Oct. 16. The award will be formally presented in November at the USGBC Greenbuild 2012 conference, to be held in San Francisco.
The recognition is a particular highlight for undergraduate Lindsey Hoffman, who worked with Ahlman to apply for the opportunity. “As an intern with the Office of Sustainability this past summer, I found it inspiring to research all the efforts that the University of Wisconsin–Madison is putting forth to make sustainability a top priority for new construction projects on campus,” Hoffman says. “Through the Office of Sustainability’s future internship programs and the increased integration of sustainable education and operations, I am excited to see what the university does in the future to reduce our ecological footprint even further.”
The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery building received LEED Gold certification in 2011 and earlier this year was named the 2012 Laboratory of the Year by R&D Magazine. It contains a number of innovative features, including a geothermal heating system, solar-powered water heating, and extensive use of natural and LED lighting.
“Sustainability in higher education continues to gain momentum and projects like these continue to raise the bar,” said Paul Rowland, executive director of AASHE. “Our award winners have demonstrated a commitment to creating a better society for all of us and for future generations.”
The winners of the 2012 Sustainability Leadership Awards, including the Innovation in Green Building Award, will be featured in the December issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record. The applications and papers received for each of the award categories are available on the AASHE website.